Advanced high-power electric propulsion systems can significantly enhance piloted Mars missions. An increase in the science payload delivered to Mars and the reduction of the total Earth-departure mass are the major system-level benefits of electric propulsion. Other potential benefits are the return of the cargo vehicle to Earth orbit and the availability of high power in Mars orbit for high-power science and communications. Parametric analyses for sizing the cargo mission vehicle for Mars exploration missions are presented. The nuclear-electric propulsion system thruster size, power level, mass, propellant type and payload mass capability are considered in these system-level trade studies. Descriptions of the propulsion system selection issues for both ion and MPD thruster technologies are also discussed. On a manned Mars mission, the total launch mass for an unmanned cargo vehicle in low earth orbit (LEO) can be reduced by up to 50 percent over the baseline oxygen/hydrogen propulsion system. Because the cargo vehicle is sent to Mars prior to the manned mission, the trip time for the vehicle is not a critical factor. By taking advantage of the high specific impulse (I sub sp) of an ion or a Magneto-Plasma-Dynamic (MPD) thruster system, the total LEO mass is reduced from 590,000 kg for the oxygen/hydrogen propulsion system to 309,000 kg for the MPD system and 295,000 kg for the ion system. Many factors must be analyzed in the design of a electric propulsion Mars cargo vehicle. The propellant selection, the number of thrusters, the power level and the specific impulse are among the most important of the parameters. To fully address the electric propulsion system design, trade studies for the differing ion and MPD propulsion system configurations (thruster power levels, number of thrusters, propellants and power systems) must be conducted.